The best service providers give you online tools to manage your network.
Historically, most Internet and WAN providers have been opposed to providing their clients the ‘keys to their Network Highway’. There are a variety of security and performance reasons behind this resistance. But that’s their problem. Your problem is that you need a network to perform as designed. When the network isn’t performing you should be able to see what’s going on and get help making adjustments.
The Truth About Some Networks
Most providers have control issues. Carriers have provided networks (frame relay, IP-sec, MPLS) for years now. Networks take a lot of resources to design, implement and maintain. Network Providers are challenged to maintain performance standards in the best of circumstances. As a result, most are resistant to allowing end users the ability to view much less change routes, bandwidth and the overall behavior of their corporate network. Imagine, if everyone makes random changes then the service provider’s overall network may not be able to handle all the combined activity changes. (This possibility is what really scares the weaker network providers.)
Change is here. Business activities are moving faster than ever before. IT departments (perhaps yours) are under increasing pressure to adapt more quickly. Here’s a great reason you want to choose a progressive carrier team to create your private networks. Some providers are listening to their client demands. As a result, some have developed better network tools for client management. Clients can now get much more control over the network they pay for.
For example we’re seeing better graphic-based tools that show
- Real-time circuit utilization
- Network congestion points
- Network consumption by service type (http, SAP, etc.)
- Peak utilization times
- Open trouble tickets
In one case, the network provider allows clients the ability to increase or decrease their bandwidth in real time, online! If you already use a Managed Network are you getting these types of information today?
Contact your service provider and ask them what tools they have available today? You may have access to new resources of which you are not aware. A number of service providers post updates on their customer websites. Check them out. Better yet, contact a consultant (like RAM) who has experience working with a variety of providers. Your consultant can save you time on research and provide their experience in making recommendations.
You don’t have to put up with working ‘blind’ any longer. The best networks are dynamic and much more user friendly than 5 years ago. With better information at your finger tips, you can make better decisions and adjustments quickly and easily. That’s true Network Management.
For more information, contact Rob at RAM today at 847-358-0917 x200.